1st September 2015

The EU Commission has signalled it will consider allowing a tax exemption for the South West’s small cider and perry producers.

It follows sustained pressure from local MEP Ashley Fox who along with CAMRA has been campaigning for a rule change to allow a duty exemption.

Earlier this year the EU Commission ordered the UK government to end its forty year tax break for small producers. It meant that producers who make 33 pints or less day will have to pay duty of up to £2700 a year.

Ashley said, “These producers have a turnover of less than £20,000 a year and to expect them to pay duty would force many out of business. They are often custodians of ancient orchards and use ancient methods to make their products; they are not getting rich making their artisan product and we need to protect and encourage them.”

“Small Vineyards and micro-breweries are recognised by the EU as special cases and are exempt from duty. It is crazy not to recognise the South West’s cider producers in the same way.”

The EU has now said it will consult on a rule change. 

Ashley added, “Only last week the Commission ruled out the prospect of any rule changes whatsoever and I am pleased they have listened to the case we have put forward.”

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